Cars 3 3D

Out Now On-Demand

One last chance, one last dream.

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is back and determined to prove himself to a new generation of race cars in Disney/Pixar's third instalment in the Cars series.

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage.

The first Cars film won’t be at the top of anyone’s list of favourite Pixar films while Cars 2 is almost guaranteed to be at the bottom. This third film pretends that sequel never existed, switching back to what worked in the original. However, Cars 3 has a trick up its glovebox that makes this film the best of the series.

Lightning McQueen is getting old and the new generation are running laps around him. The racing world is telling him to give it all up but he’s convinced he has more in him. With the help of younger trainer Cruz Ramirez, McQueen tries to upskill using the latest tech in the hopes of proving his worth.

It sounds like things are heading towards the toxic ‘Winning is everything!’ moral, but that’s a misdirect. In its place is an even greater lesson about moving on and finding every joy in something you're passionate about, even when the world changes around you. It also champions women, which is a good thing for any film, and a rare thing for a film aimed at young boys.

Cars 3 has a good story to tell, but the watered-down storytelling doesn’t reach the studio’s standard. There’s a noticeable slump in Pixar’s humour that include cultural stereotypes and bad puns (“Life’s a beach!”) while the number of set pieces are few and far between (unless you enjoy seeing them drive back-n-forth on a beach for a whole day). The only big moment aside from the climax is a destruction derby scene that may scare very young kids. It’s a really cool scene though, featuring one beastly flaming school bus.

I also admire this film for expressing the theme of moving on and the evils of rendering something to corporate merchandising. This series is at a good stopping point and Pixar are making damn sure Disney gets the hint.

TimeOut (USA)


It's all well and good for the under-12s, but this movie never packs the kind of emotional punch we know Pixar is capable of.

Los Angeles Times


This warmly sentimental G-rated film about facing new realities and recapturing lost dreams has, despite its relatively adult story line, a beguilingly effortless feeling to it, as if it had nothing to prove.

New York Times


If you can roll with it, the movie is both breezy fun and a pain-free life lesson delivery vehicle.

Variety (USA)


"Cars 3" is very much a tale of mentorship, of learning how to give up your ego in order to bolster someone else's. As such, it's touching in a pleasingly formulaic, pass-the-torch way.

Hollywood Reporter


While visually dynamic, Lightning McQueen's newest challenge still feels out of alignment with a languid end result that lacks sufficient forward momentum.

Screen International


In "Cars 3," champion racer Lightning McQueen grapples with the possibility that his glory days are behind him - an uncomfortably apt metaphor for a franchise that has run out of gas.

Rolling Stone


The end goal this time out isn't just to sell a few more toys and Lightning McQueen lunchboxes. It's actually tapping into something deeper than a corporate bottom line. (Graeme Tuckett)


Cars 3 does just enough, late in the day, to be considered an adequate sequel to Cars.